Aloha, Salty readers! Week 9 of ye old Boston Marathon training cycle marked my biggest weekly mileage total in I don’t know when and the first 20 miler of the season! I’m knocking on wood as I type this, but so far my training has been more or less right on track, and I’m pretty pleased with how my body is holding up, especially considering that it turned another year older this week! Read all about the 61 miles of running that make up my most recent week of training adventures right here in my Salty Running training log!
Monday, 2/24, Birthday Recovery Run, 5.5 miles. Today was my birthday and I wanted to start it off with a run and a maple bacon bar from Rise (my fave donut shop in the world!) My friend Amy was nice enough to join me for both of these activities. I seriously wanted to keep the run around 8:30 pace, but it was just one of those days where my legs wanted to go a little faster. (Why don’t those happen more often???) Try as I might, I was just having a hard time getting them to settle into a more appropriate recovery pace. (I know that sounds completely obnoxious, and I’m sorry, but it’s my birthday and I’m gonna say what I want.)
Anyway, Amy and I had a lovely run and an even better post-run visit which was made complete by a FREE birthday maple bacon bar, courtesy of Rise, FTW! It’s going to be an awesome birthday, I can feel it!
Tuesday, 2/25, 4x 1 mile at 10K (?) pace, 9.14 miles. The events of my morning (mom visiting for the birthday, plus am personal training clients) reduced me to a weird, yucky late morning workout time. The plan was 4x 1 mile at “10K pace” although the pace I was aiming for is in reality somewhere between 5K and 10K pace for me… I’ll just go ahead and call my 7K pace, otherwise known as 6:25.
The warm up felt horrid, and it was super-slow, but I tried not to stress out about it too much. Split #1 was a sluggish 6:27. After a quarter recovery, I clocked a 6:26 for the second mile split, and then a 6:22 for the 3rd. They weren’t feeling particularly strong or awesome, but at least they were consistent. Naturally, the 4th and final working effort began at the base of the dreaded Scott King hill. (In case you don’t live in Durham, and are thus unfamiliar with the American Tobacco Trail, this is the only significantly hill to speak of on the greenway trail where I typically do workouts.) I fought through the first uphill half of it with everything I had to keep the number on the watch in the 6s, and then tried to make up some ground once I crested the hill and started going down again. In the end it all shook out to a 6:26 split, which I suppose I feel pretty good about.
When the work was done I shuffled through the cool down miles back to the car. Although it didn’t feel particularly great are pretty, I think it is safe to say that I accomplished what I set out to do, so cheers to that. Another BAA speed workout in the books!
Wednesday, 2/26, Easy 6.13 miles. Just some nice, easy miles with my fun, fabulous friend, Jen. Very grateful for good company and for getting it done! Happy Hump Day, y’all!
Thursday, 2/27, A “Medium Long Run” 12.01 miles. Today the BAA’s training plan called for a “medium long run” of 10 to 12 miles. I met up with my always delightful friends Karen and Jen (a different Jen than the one from yesterday’s run) for the first 6 miles (so, so glad to have some fabulous company for the whole first half!) and then set out to do the second half solo at marathon goal pace. I was really pleased with how good 12 miles felt, and MGP splits were as follows: 7:49, 7:29, 7:28, 7:07, 7:14, 7:09. Guys! That last 7:09 was up a big-ass hill! Gave myself a major self-five for that one! Cheers to some (medium) big miles in the middle of the week! What, what!
Friday, 2/28, Rest day! Hooray for a glorious morning of sleeping in and leisurely coffee drinking!
Saturday, 3/1, Lonely Saturday Donut Shop Run, 7.92 miles. Saturday is typically an easy group run from the donut shop, but today I arrived at Rise to find that I was THE ONLY PERSON to show up! Womp, womp… I waited around for a few minutes, knowing full well that NO ONE is ever later than I am and no one else coming, and then I set out on my own. I felt a little bummed out at first, but it wasn’t so bad once I got going, really. I saw several familiar faces, as one is bound to when running on Durham’s favorite greenway on a Saturday morning. And just as I was wrapping up my 3rd of what was to be 6x 30 sec strides, I came upon my physical therapist pals Evan and Brian. I spotted and chatted with them for a bit. Brian was ready to turn around, but Evan convinced me to head out for another half mile or so with him. And thus, my 7 mile run became 7.92 miles. It’s all good though. It just wouldn’t be Saturday morning without a little catching up with friends! Cheers to the weekend!
Sunday, 3/2, 20 mile Sunday Funday FTW! 20.01 miles. Well friends, the first 20 miler of the Boston training cycle is in the books! I don’t want to jinx myself, but I think it went pretty well. The official training plan prescription was 20 miles with 8 to 12 at marathon goal pace, but I tried not to get to hung up on the MGP part since I was doing this run in hilly-ass Umstead (the state park that everyone around here goes to for hilly Boston training log runs), and instead I just tried to focus on feeling good and not being a hill-wuss for 20 miles.
We took it pretty easy for the first 10, which got us through maybe 60 to 75% of the significant climbs.
The pace was a little erratic with the hills and I definitely started to succumb to my inner hill-wuss by the final climb, but even so my split for that last hilly mile was 8:17, which does not embarrass me at all, and I clocked a 7:42, a 6:54 (whoops!), a 7:09, a 7:21, and a hard-fought 7:43 for the post-hills/ pre-cool down miles. Oh, and the last mile of my cool down was also a 7:41.
Ok, so it wasn’t exactly 8 to 12 miles at MGP, and my consistency could use a little work, but whatever. If I’m being perfectly honest, I was just really pumped to survive a 20 mile run at Umstead averaging under 8 minute pace. So cheers to another great Sunday Funday, and another Boston long run in the books!
And so goes the story of Week 9 of my Boston Marathon training cycle. Hooray for birthdays, big miles, and getting shit done! 3:19:59 or bust, y’all!
Until next week, happy trails, and you stay classy, Salty readers!